Stargazers announce calendar sale, visit from Santa Claus


Our spectacular 2024 Deep Space Mysteries Calendars have arrived and are ready for you to purchase. 

We are doing something special this year. If you purchase a calendar for a child or teenager, you only pay $10. This calendar is a fundraising opportunity for the San Juan Stargazers, so we greatly appreciate when you pay the regular price of $15, but these calendars are such a great learning opportunity for young people that we want to make them more easily available to them. 

They are great gifts for your children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, etc. A person never knows when they plant a seed what it might grow into. This seed only costs $10 and is worth so much more. 

There are several features of these calendars that make them so worthwhile. Each month has a fabulous photo of what is considered a deep space mystery. There is usually one amazing and incredibly unique planet photo, several unusual galaxies are featured and there are various nebula either at the explosion (supernova) stage or when in a star-forming stage. Beneath each beautiful photo is a detailed explanation of the object. 

Another great feature of the calendar is that each day notes unique visible night-sky objects so you will know when to go out to see special sights. 

If you want to order a calendar, call (303) 995-2888 to leave a message including your name, phone number and number of calendars. You will get a call back so we can figure out the easiest way to get the calendars to you.

December meeting to feature visit from Santa

Thursday, Dec. 7, is the monthly educational meeting of the San Juan Stargazers at the Community United Methodist Church, located at 434 Lewis St. Use the parking lot and nearby side door. 

At this meeting we are getting a visit from none other than Santa Claus. He has a helper named Dena Laterza who is going to help everyone at the meeting understand their Christmas gift, the likes of which we haven’t gotten since we were teenagers. Here is a hint: It is a computer app that you may be playing with for years. 

Laterza explained it to me and I kept playing with it until I almost fell asleep. You will be getting written directions so you will know every step to take. 

I don’t know how much more I should tell you, but it fits with our notebook called “Tours of the Night Sky” and adds an unbelievable dimension to the entire idea. I am so excited to have this shared with our club. I’m not telling you to bring your laptop because I don’t want to lose everyone from the task we have at hand. 

We will be adding missing months with maps and narratives with additional information for the “Tours of the Night Sky” blue notebook. We will also be adding information about each of the visible planets. 

Judith Jubb has been working very hard gathering material from several sources and, most importantly, leaving out extraneous material. She did this work for the presentations she gave during the summer months for the Chimney Rock night sky programs. Ann Marie Kemp is contributing an entire section of information about the six visible planets. 

I don’t think there is anything quite like this booklet. It is concise, easy to read, direct and uncomplicated. Of course, you have to do some preparation, but we’ve tried to make it as simple as possible to use. 

Since there is material for each month, you can study a few pages and then forget it until next year, when you can look it up again. If there is interest, we can start a study group for those who want to develop expertise. Then you can become substitutes for Judith when she cannot attend the night sky programs.

You must find the notebook that you were given when you joined the club or were given in 2022 and bring it with you to work on. 

After completing the notebook, we will go over how to use this fabulous tool. You will go home one step closer to achieving being “the astronomer of your dreams” with the only step left — get out and do it. 

You may want to practice before you put on a show and get a red-light flashlight and a green laser pointer. Get a good laser pointer because a cheap one is not strong enough to point into the night sky. 

Please look for the notebook you were given because it is too expensive to give people a second notebook. This is a priceless tool to use for the rest of your life and pass down to your grandchildren. We need everyone working together to complete this great project. Thank you for your help.

More about the

If you would like to join the San Juan Stargazers, you will also receive Reflector Magazine. It is the publication of the National Astronomical League of which you automatically become a member. To join both groups and get an excellent astronomy magazine, annual membership is only $25 per family. 

You can join the club at any of our events or now you can join using PayPal at Check out our recently improved website with much more information and fabulous pictures. Joining at our December meeting will be the last chance to get a copy of this very special notebook.

A look ahead

Looking ahead to 2024, we will be having several guest speakers and lots of information on the April 8 solar eclipse, which is the last one to be visible in North America until 2033. 

We will also soon be adding Zoom to our monthly meetings, and we will be adding many additional educational programs using Zoom. 

We have had Stargazers leave Pagosa but not find another astronomy club. They can stay members by using Zoom. Since we don’t know what this winter will be like, and we may be able to hold Zoom meetings when the weather is bad. 

There is a real hunger in our membership to be learning more and more, so we want to respond with the best new tool possible. 

We invite you to learn about and appreciate our unbelievable universe and some unbelievable club members, too.